This Is Hardcore: The Explosion – Flash Flash Flash

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Boston has always enjoyed a respectable hardcore scene. Bands like SS Decontrol, Negative FX, Gang Green and Jerry’s Kids were among the first wave of American hardcore acts to break out of Massachusetts. More recently, acts like Blood for Blood, Slapshot, American Nightmare and Converge have continued to uphold Boston’s reputation for straightforward yet provocative punk rock. With so many great scenes situated along America’s East Coast, the healthy competition would often mean certain bands risked being overlooked within their own community.

It was the follow up to The Explosion’s self-titled EP, both of which were released on Jade Tree Records, notorious taste makers within the punk scene. While the first recordings came across budget and sloppy, this album captured the electrifying energy without forfeiting any quality in sound. This noticeable change allowed the band to make the transition from bedroom punks to underground purists, carrying on the tradition of heritage acts like The Clash and The Buzzcocks while bringing it up to date with an arresting sass and tenacious attitude. This bridge between old and new was reinforced through their artwork and personal style.

While the songs that make up Flash Flash Flash are simple four-chord structures that acknowledge punk’s forefathers, it’s what they achieve in those short two and a half minute blasts that make this album stand out. Album opener, No Revolution, delivers on every level – brash guitars, attacking drums, rolling bass and a gang vocal fuelled chorus hook that instills the band’s rebellious nature in just four words – “There’s no revolution anymore”.

The underground success of Flash Flash Flash caught the attention of major labels who saw marketing promise in their catchy choruses and punk as hell image. The release of Black Tape on Virgin Records in 2004 wasn’t so much a progressive move for the band but rather a blind step, straight into the grips of the music industry machine. Their second album for Virgin Records, recorded in 2006, ended up being shelved for five years and soon after in 2007 the band called it quits. Flash Flash Flash will always remain the underground hit that punk so desperately called out for at the turn of the century.